which alternative reporting software applications besides
do you recommend for generating reports from DB sources?
Please also include some comments regarding strength/weaknesses of the recommended application.
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I've used SQL Server Reporting Services to some good effect. Although it comes with SQL Server, you can configure it to refer to multiple data sources. I have seen some people mention issues with large-scale deployment, but can't comment on this directly.
Crystal Reports have actually commissioned a comparison, although it may be slightly biased towards them. They do state, however,
Overall, both tools are an excellent choice for implementing reporting capabilities into your applications, but they cater to different audiences.
For large scale enterprise-level reporting frameworks, I have heard a number of companies turning to Thunderhead
I would recommend QlikView for your reporting, i can't think of anything it can't do. I have been using it for several months now and it's extremely powerful and versatile...
There is a free personal edition you can download to get a feel for it. You can pull in data from any source, manipulate and display it at your desire.
There is a learning curve involved but there are plenty of free tutorials/videos on their website and a very helpful and active community forum you can post to if you need help with anything.
Please take a look at Windward Reports (disclaimer - I'm the CTO there).
Strengths - You design the reports in Microsoft Word, Excel, and/or PowerPoint so minimal learning curve and you can easily do things that the other reporting systems, because they're banded, find either difficult or impossible. It is also much faster, you'll find report design & revision about 10 times faster. And you can have non-programmers design their own reports.
Weaknesses - none :). Actually, there are a couple. First off, it's a different approach to design and if you want to design in an IDE using detailed property windows this will be different. Second, if you need to build your report in code with the logic there, we're not a good solution (nor are any of the others listed here so far). If you need this say so and I can give you a list of what to look at.
I have been using Sunset Reports for a while:
This software is great. It is simple to use, powerful, flexible, and much less expensive than the alternatives. We particularly like the feature that you can both push and pull reports via email. We have actually built many websites using the software. Here is a print of a report generation:
I like Microsoft Excel using dynamic tables to generate reports. You can connect to a SQL Server base, get tables from a view and filter any results on excel before printing it as a pdf (for example). It is the best and the fastest way that I found to do my reports on the time that was given to my tasks.
I can't comment on any of them but AlternativeTo.net is often handy when looking for alternative applications. The link goes straight to the Crystal Reports page.